Nelson council is planning an increase of 1.5 per cent for sewer and two per cent for water for 2021, amounting to a $17 increase per household, according to the city’s financial officer Colin McClure.
The increase will cover inflation, he said, and it will also contribute to a reserve fund for major work on the city’s sewage treatment plant coming up in the near future.
At council’s December 3 meeting, McClure presented a graph that shows the effect of the 26 km of pipe replacement work the city has been doing since 2005 – that’s 40 per cent of the city’s total of 65 km of water lines.
As a result, the average maximum usage per day has dropped by 60 per cent, as has the average monthly high usage, simply because of the replacement of leaky pipes.
The winter maximum usage and the winter average usage across the city have dropped by about 33 per cent.
McClure said the steep drops correlate closely to the pipe replacement work.
Plugging leaks in the water system complements another arm of Nelson’s water-saving efforts, the improvement of its water supply, with the goal of counteracting potential drought caused by climate change and wildfire.